If there’s just one thing I want to talk about in this review, it is Colin Farrell’s eyebrows. Secondary to my fascination with odd mouths (see: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Meredith off Grey’s Anatomy, Alicia Silverstone, Meg Ryan) is my obsession with big eyebrows. Sandy off the OC was in the lead for size, David Tennant for flexibility, but Farrell has stormed in with eyebrows that are not only dominating in terms of size and colour, but they are also incredibly animated. If anything his eyebrows out-act him, which is a mean feat in itself because the little Irish man does manage to act his chops off in this, albeit in a slightly over-the-top way.
In Bruges is the story of two hit-men being sent to, you’ve guessed it, Bruges, after a botched job. Ken (Brendan Gleeson) is thrilled because he gets to look at lots of old buildings, but Ray (Colin Farrell - or Will Ferrell - or Colin Firth, depending on how you look at it) isn’t too pleased with the trip. Of course, the real reason for their destination is later uncovered in what is a hark back to the good old days of the 90s when we made a massive amount of British gangster type films that were both funny, entertaining, but also ultimately a bit stupid.
Despite being a bit familiar, In Bruges is a minty fresh blast of film, with a cast hamming it up to the nines (Ralph Fienne’s cockney persona keeping up with Farrell’s energetic brows) and some unexpectedly hilarious moments. Though the subject matter of most of the jokes is the stuff of The Sun, you can’t help but chuckle shamelessly as fatties, midgets and foreigners (including Americans) are poked fun at, taunted and punched in the face. Somehow, despite being twitchy killers, Farrell and Gleeson win you over, so the sudden switch in tone as the inevitable shoot-out begins brings with it a genuine tenseness as you care about what happens.
The script is sparky, if not a little film-school Guy Ritchie, but it makes this 90 minute film fly by with smiley fun. Couple it with a solid cast and a beautiful city and you’re on to a winner. In Bruges is in luck, because it made me enjoy it enough to award it a CF2. One point purely for the eyebrows.